17 Hours

July 8, 2010

Last night, 10:15 pm. – In bed.  Herbie waits out in the family room for Juice to wake up for a bottle.  I read one page of Entertainment Weekly and fall asleep.

10:45 – I wake up to the sound of Moo moaning, then screaming.  I rush into her room, followed by Herbie, holding JJ.  I pat her head and try to reassure her, to no avail.  So I climb into her bed and pull her onto my lap, causing her to flail and shriek.  Clearly, no ordinary bad dream.  We retreat (I can carry her again!) to the playroom couch, where I stroke her hair and tell her she’s safe, and finally tuck her into bed 45 minutes later.  We whisper about her birthday next year – about ice cream and birthday presents, fancy dresses and balloons – and I hope those sweet thoughts will give her sweet, happy dreams.

11:45 p.m. – We’re all in bed.  Herbie falls asleep instantly.  Juice, in his bassinet next to our bed, does his snuffle-breathing, which I know will turn into crazy grunting at any second.  Moo moans quietly in her bed.  I wonder what terrible dream she had, why she accused me of scratching her, start to drift into bad dreams myself and shake them away.  I feel lost, so I talk to good ol’ God for a few minutes, and ask Him to wrap us all up and help us sleep.

1:30 a.m. – Juice wakes up, demanding to be fed.  We do our business on the family room couch and then creep back to the bedroom, where I place him carefully in his basinet, trying not to disturb his deep sleep, praying (again) that he doesn’t immediately start his crazy grunting. 

2:45 a.m. –  Juice starts his crazy grunting.  I peek into the bassinet to make sure it’s just grunting and not poop or spit-up or anything scary.  He’s laying there peacefully, grunting like a mad cow.  I lay back down and tell myself to just block it out and go to sleep.  Not sure if I succeed or not.

4:15 a.m. – The grunting is getting louder, and even manages to wake up Herbie, who can sleep through almost anything.  He curls around me and we wonder what to do about Juice the Wonder Grunter.  “We could put him in his crib in his room,” suggests Herbie.  “But I would still want the monitor on,” I say.  I need to be able to hear him breathing.

5:15 a.m. – The grunting turns into crying, and Herbie gets up to give him a bottle.  I sleep.

6:40 a.m. – Herbie returns from the family room, where he and Juice fell asleep on the couch together.  He wakes me up to get in the shower.

 7:45 a.m. – Herbie leaves for work.

8:30 a.m. – Moo wakes up.  Not a word about her bad dream.  I decide not to bring it up.

8:30 – 10 a.m. – Chaos.  I manage to keep things moving – Moo has breakfast, we get dressed, somehow I dry my hair and we both brush our teeth.  Juice cries throughout most of this; I cry while I dry my hair.

10: 30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. – Somehow, we make it out the door, into the car, and on to Moo’s My Gym class.  Juicy very kindly sleeps through the whole class, making me so confident that afterwards, we go to AJ’s for our traditional tuna sandwich.  I am prepared for everything to fall apart at any moment – miraculously, it does not.

1:35 p.m. – Getting an infant and a toddler into a Honda Civic in 110-degree heat is NOT FUN.

2:15 p.m. – Juice is still zonked out in his car seat in the playroom.  Moo appears clutching Hop and declares she is ready for her snooze and would like to read books.  Juice overhears this and promptly wakes up screaming and hungry.  Clearly THIS is the moment where everything is going to fall apart.  But I manage to read books to Moo while holding Juice and jiggling him into momentary contentment.

3:15 p.m. – Moo is asleep.  Juice is fed and playing, happily, on his play mat, staring wide-eyed at the dangling black-and-white toys while I stare, wide-eyed, at him.  I suddenly realize that I’m happy.  I’m hopeful. 

Maybe everything will be okay.


4 Responses to “17 Hours”

  1. Beth H Says:

    you can do it, Mama! i’m sure it’s a struggle & a balancing act & really exhausting, but it sounds like you are doing great. just think of those sweet, peaceful moments when things get rough.

  2. Leslie Says:

    In 5 months I will join your club.
    What’s the initiation fee and hazing ritual?

  3. soniar07 Says:


  4. millie Says:

    WWWELLLL, as Moo likes to start her stories. . . today Phyll and Millie were very impressed with your focus, your mothering skills, and your absolute determination to get some cleaning done and not be distracted by us while you had a couple extra hands. You have our vote. And it DOES get better; promise. Next time you come to our house and sleep and we take care of the children in familiar territory! I know you and Herbie are sleep deprived. I never knew I could be so tired until I had children! Love & prayers –

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